Since its inception in 1998, the Festival has fostered links with the community to help enhance the artistic experiences of children and people of all ages in school, village and church environments. Scroll down if you’d like to see further examples of our activities.

And the children came too … Purves Puppets Ultraviolet Spectacular Nessie The Loch Ness Monster,  Red Priest Nightmare in Venice with Fiddlesticks Strings Group and the audience braving the rain in Stories in a Secret Garden

Mike Barfield at Ripon Library Mike Barfield at Dishforth School

“Professor Turnkey’s Clockwork Circus” “Awesome Autumn”

An exuberant Festival Finale!

Ripon By The Sea 3rd September 2010 Photos by Ripon Gazette

A terrific day out for all the family attracted a crowd of 3,000 to the
National Festival Circus, Puppet Shows, Children’s Fairground Rides, Punch & Judy etc.

Ripon By The Sea 2010 was organised by Ripon Festivals and Ripon Independent Traders


Thank you to Nick and Lindsay Ibbotson, creators of the show, and all who took part as actors, singers, musicians, costume and set makers, lighting and stage technicians, front of house, and to the Vicar and members of the congregation of Holy Trinity Church. It was a terrific show: a brilliant script and musical score, dramatic and imaginative staging, inspiring to all who took part and loved by the audiences. You can see more pix under Artists 2009.

Nick & Lindsay Ibbotson of Helperby created a new Rock musical “The Dream Maker” involving more than sixty participants drawn from Boroughbridge High School, Ripon Grammar School, Ripon College, the Red Triangle Drama Group, Greystones Primary and other schools, E2E students, Ripon Stage Academy plus several adult groups. The Musical was supported by the Arts Council & NYCC.

2008 saw the East Meets West Music & Dance Project, created and led by Lindsay Ibbotson with Janet Fulton, percussion and Eduardo Niebla, guitars. Over sixty children from primary schools across the district took part in workshops exploring cross-cultural links between eastern and western traditions, in both mediaeval and present times, culminating in a performance outdoors at Fountains Abbey in June.

In 2007, composer and jazz flamenco guitarist Eduardo Niebla ran a music composition and performance project “Open Your Doors” through the autumn term with guitar, percussion, voice, organ and strings involving up to 150 children. Performances took place at Holy Trinity Church in October and the rehearsals were filmed by ITV Yorkshire.

In 2006, The Kiteman – international kite expert, Malcolm Goodman – ran kite workshops on the weekend of 26th and 27th August at Ripon Leisure Centre. A great time was had by all and the children had a lot of fun flying their own kites at the recreation ground adjoining.

In 2005, the Festival provided performances by the superb young London-based quartet, Batterie Percussion, and an exquisite new production Nobody Rides the Unicornby internationally renowned PuppetCraft for a total of 1200 children in seven primary schools (Boroughbridge, Cathedral, Greystones, Helperby, Holy Trinity, Kirkby Malzeard, St. Wilfrid’s).

In 2004, PuppetCraft took The Amazing Adventures of Sinbad to Moorside Junior School, captivating 200 children who “will remember it for ever” (John Stirling, Head Teacher).

Previous years’ activities ranged from North Country Theatre director Nobby Dimon, running combined Ripon College and Grammar School Drama Workshops to Zulu Drum and Dance workshops by Otiaki International.

Puppetcraft “Nobody Rides The Unicorn” at Holy Trinity Junior School (left)